Nate Oats and UB Men's Basketball pulled in a bigtime recruit today in Jalen Harris, a 6-1 point guard from Word Of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, North Carolina. Harris is a consensus three-star recruit - 247 has him as a top-15 point guard in North Carolina and top-60 nationally - who has a pair of big name offers and had been in contact with many more schools.
Harris is a former teammate of Quate McKinzie through Chris Paul's TeamCP3 organization and now plays for John Wall's AAU program in Raleigh.
Nate Oats first offered Harris on 10 July, right around the same time Word of God teammate Jaylen Fornes also received an offer from the Bulls. Harris visited along with McKinzie over Labor Day weekend and the end result is both making plans for Buffalo.
Harris right now holds offers from Wright State, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Charlotte, Abilene Christian, DePaul, and Providence (!), but also reports interest from five ACC programs, Kansas and Kansas State, and Oklahoma.
Make no mistake about it: right now, before games are played, Donyell Marshall and Director of Basketball Operations Julius Hodge are making a big impact on UB's recruiting. Hodge's North Carolina roots in particular account now for both of Buffalo's 2016 recruits, and with only three seniors, Nate Oats can have a good chunk of his new freshman class signing into LOIs before their senior seasons get going thanks to the November 11th Early Signing Period.
The recruiting sites rate Harris slightly lower than they did Lamonte Bearden two years ago, but only slightly. See for yourself:
I'm having a hard time finding stats, but there's plenty of highlight videos and recruiting articles. Prior to his junior season, Harris told an NC State outlet that Kansas was his favorite, but the Wolfpack were pursuing him aggressively. As we find more, we'll have more.
Birthday's in 8 days but it's always great to get early birthday presents. #HornsUp— Nate Oats (@nate_oats) October 5, 2015